In Florida, there is a network/system of trails that make up the “Florida Trail”. It runs nearly the length of the state and is pretty sweet. There is a spur off of it called the Ocean to Lake Trail, and runs from the Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic (near Hobe Sound).
Here is the thing: I am trying to decide if I:
-want to be a hiker/camper type person.
-want to be ABLE to be a hiker/camper type person.
-want to be a person who likes hiking anc camping.
The way I see it, each of these is a different proposition. I have been proceeding as if I want to be a hiker/camper type person, with very little evidence from my life that this is something that I would enjoy. If we are being quite honest, I do like to sit on my ass quite a lot. But, I also like being alone a lot, able to listen to my music and audiobooks and such. And I also like to eat garbage. Honestly- convenience store snacks are always my favorite types of snacks, but they are trash.
So, for me, it is hard to know if I really like the proposition of camping or if I like the IDEA of camping. I have been proceeding, to date, as if I am a person who will like camping. I have begun acquiring quite the collection of miscelanea that is necessary for camping (or for doomsday prep- considering your perspective). I have two different backpacks, a quilt, stove, cook kit, tent (2 person ultra light and 3 person basic tent). I have a hammock and a tarp. The only real things I need are a sleeping pad and water filter and would feel comfortable going camping.
This said, I think I am ready to try my first solo hiking/camping trip. We are going to be in South Florida at Christmas time, so I am thinking about taking a couple of days while we are there to hike part of the Ocean to Lake Trail. While it is only 63 miles, I doubt I could do the full thing- I can’t imagine I would be able to devote a lot of time to “training”. Also, I have no idea how well I’d like it, but I am thinking about trying to do half of it. Basically, I would have Dave and Nico drop me off at the halfway point and hike to the Ocean, which would require a 2-3 nights of camping. Basically, I would meet them at the beach…
The trail itself varies- from prairie to savanna to sand dunes. In some years, a bunch of it is under water, although reports right now indicate that it is not terribly wet (right now). There is some wild life (read: gators), but I grew up in the south Florida swamps, so really, gators probably ought to be afraid of me.
Some of the walk is on boardwalks, some on roads, some on trails. Here is a cool video that someone shot a couple of years ago:
I’ve never camped alone- but I think I would like it. So, we will see.